tv The Ed Show MSNBC December 29, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
>> someone told me people really applauded that right in the middle of the movie. >> i did too. i did too. look, i hated the movie, but you know what, respect where it's due. you know, those guys earned their paycheck -- >> there it is. i agree with everything that you said, but in the end, everybody should see it, because it's passionately about the way we ignore poverty, and the way we look down on poor people below us. and kept saying, look down, pay attention to those below you on the food chain, who have it much tougher than you. don't play the cop here. and what a great man -- what a man. what a man. >> it's a great story. >> and all those cockney french revolutionaries, you know, are people that we can believe in. >> you are so tough. >> i am. >> you are so tough. where's the romance? i go to the movies for the cathartic romance. anyway, thank you. i want to see all the movies. i want to see the roosevelt movie, the hitchcock movie, the goodman, with anthony hopkin. there's so much to see this year. don't do this to me. that's "hardball" for now with
david edelstein, thanks for having you on. happy new year. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans, welcome to "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schulte. the president of the united states just told congress they have to get to work. so as ed would say, let's get to work. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. >> we're in the home stretch for the fiscal cliff, but is there still hope? sheldon whitehouse and jan schakowsky will have the latest ton high-stakes meeting at the white house. and the sad shame of this year's do-nothing congress. the gun violence continues in chicago. tonight, the reverend jesse jackson on the city's grim milestone of 500 homicides in one year. and it's nearly 2013, but attitudes on race remain two centuries behind.
>> the way i look at it, it's freedom of speech. >> the reverend marcia dyson, and the president of the national urban league on the bigotry of the supposed post-racial america. with three days left before the start of the new year, it's put up or shut up time for congressional leaders. president obama addressed reporters from the white house this evening. roughly an hour after meeting with leaders of the house and senate. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell were back at the capitol in no time. mcconnell gathered his members to inform them of the work that needs to be done. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward, as early as sunday, and have a
recommendation, that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference, so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is -- whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less, but that's where we are. and i feel confident that we have an obligation to do the best we can and that was made very clear in the white house. and we're going to do the best we can for the caucuses that we have and the country that's waiting for us to make a decision. >> but the president was in no playful mood. he warned reid and mcconnell that congress will be called to action, even if the leaders don't come up with a plan. >> if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders in the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor, and i've asked
senator reid to do this, put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don't go up, that unemployment insurance is still available for 2 million people, and that lays the groundwork then for additional deficit reduction and economic growth steps that we can take in the new year. but let's not miss this deadline. that's the bear minimum that we should be able to get done. >> majority leader reid is ready to follow through on an up or down vote. reid said in a at the same time, "at president obama's request, i am readying a bill for a vote by monday that will prevent a tax hike on middle class families, making up to $250,000, and that will include the additional critical provisions outlined by president obama." president obama pointed out the danger of inaction. >> the economy is growing, but sustaining that trend is going to require elected officials to do their jobs. the housing market is recovering, but that could be impacted if folks are seeing
smaller paychecks. the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since 2008. but already, you're seeing businesses and consumers starting to hold back, because of the dysfunction that they see in washington. >> the president's stern statement echoed the concerns of the american people, who are tired of washington gridlock. >> outside of washington, nobody understands how it is, that this seems to be a repeat pattern, over and over again. ordinary folks, they do their jobs. they meet deadlines. they sit down and they discuss things and then things happen. if there are disagreements, they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. and needs to stop. so, i'm modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved. nobody's going to get 100% of
what they want. but let's make sure that middle class families and the american economy and, in fact, the world economy, aren't adversely impacted because people can't do their jobs. >> this from a president who is incurably optimistic. for him to be modestly optimistic, that says something. that means the 11th hour is here. will last-minute action be enough to avoid a fiscal cliff? to avoid a cliff dive? get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, in light of the president's remarks, will a fiscal cliff deal get done? text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639 or go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. i'll bring you the results later in the show. joining me now is sheldon whitehouse from rhode island. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> sir, this is serious, this is even dire. are you encouraged by the meeting today and the president's remarks in the aftermath of that meeting?
>> well, i think that the decision to move the forum for the negotiations to the senate was a necessary one. i have a lot of confidence in harry reid's negotiating ability. mitch mcconnell is a veteran negotiator, and i think there's a far better prospect of something being worked out in the senate than there was dealing with speaker boehner and his completely dysfunctional house republican party. >> sure. well, abiding by convention and of course protocol, the senate won't return until sunday. will there be enough time for the senate leaders to really craft a deal that is substantiative and makes a difference, especially to the most vulnerable americans? >> yeah, i think the two keys that the president laid out are to protect middle class americans from tax increases and to protect families that haven't been able to get back in the workforce have having their unemployment insurance cut off. and if those two things can be done, a lot of the rest can be worked in in the weeks and days to come. we have other deadlines coming up for the debt limit and for
the end of the continuing resolution, so i think this is likely to be a bit of a continuing process. but the really immediate stuff, i think they can clearly do. the big choice is going to be republican leader mcconnell's. and that is, does he insist on filibustering this effort? if he does choose to filibuster there effort, then there is no way that we can make that fiscal cliff deadline. it's going to require the republican leadership to be willing to have a traditional up or down vote on the majority leader's legislation. >> well, for a man who's filibustered his own legislation, that's a tall order, to be sure. >> it is, but it happens in the context of all of us looking at what kind of filibuster reform there should be. >> right. >> and if republicans want to show the american people that at that juncture, with everybody watching and so much at stake, they're going to force a fiscal cliff breaking filibuster, i think that's going to have effects that they're going to be
very concerned about down the road. so we have kind of a filibuster window here, if the minority leader, if the republican leader will let us proceed that way. >> well, from your mouth to your 99 colleagues' ears, to be sure. >> yeah. >> let's take a listen at your leader, your senate majority leader reid after the meeting. >> i hope everything's a good sign. i've had my confidence destroyed on other occasions, so i hope it's not on this occasion. >> do you share harry reid's cautious optimism there? >> yeah, i think so. he and minority leader mcconnell work together day in and day out. harry is a very good negotiator, who is very familiar with these issues, and we don't, in the senate, have the same issue of the huge tea party caucus in the house that the speaker, frankly, can't get a majority of his party together, because of. so you really have such a dysfunctional republican party in the house that the president had no place to turn, but to let
these veteran legislators, these veteran negotiators try to hammer something out, and i think this is the best place for that discussion to take place. >> well, this is being set up for an intricate congressional showdown, so to speak. how will the nation react if the house rejects something that the senate has passed? >> well, what's interesting about this is that the speaker appears to have invited the senate to come up with something and said that he will give it a vote. the problem has been this hastert rule, this policy of the republicans in the house, that they won't take a bill to the house floor, even if it will pass, even if it's important to the american people, if it doesn't have a majority of republican support. now, if he was willing to break the hastert rule and take the senate bill to the floor of the house, just like the democratic senate bill that would protect everybody under $250,000 a year, from any tax increase, it would pass. >> right. >> it would pass. >> all right.
>> so his problem is a self-imposed one. it's this republican policy that they won't take a bill to the floor, unless a majority of their caucus approves, and the tea party effect in their caucus is so bad that they can't get that done. you saw that with the farm bill, you saw that with the highway bill, you saw that with plan "b." it's a repeated dysfunction. >> let's see if we can get past this hastertnation, so to speak. mr. white house, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> now let's turn to congresswoman schakowsky. welcome. is there any way house speakers can agree to any deal. because this man so far has been abysmally failing at trying to coordinate his own part and trying to generate any kind of consensus. >> well, let's be clear that this problem that we have has nothing to do with the economy or what's good for the american people. this is about politics. and a good number of the members of the republican conference are worried about their next election.
whether or not there's going to be a primary election, if they were to vote for some sort of a deal, that raises taxes on anybody. no matter how much money they make. and then you've got speaker boehner, worrying about just one election that's a few days away. and that's whether or not he'll get elected again to be the speaker of the house. so here's his calculation. if something is sent over from the senate, does he try and get a vote, call the bill, know that it's going to pass with mostly democrats and only some republicans, and will that jeopardize his election as speaker? because he'll look like a wimp. or is it worse for him to say no and go over the cliff and does that jeopardize the republican party and make them look terrible? so the considerations that are before him have nothing to do, whether the majority of americans are going to see their taxes go up $2,200, or whether 2
million people are going lose their unemployment insurance, or whether poor people are going to get a child tax credit or earned income tax credit. none of those issues are really on the table. and that's the sad part of this debate. >> but, you know, congresswoman, you raised a very important point here. on either side, most people only talk about the middle class. they never speak about poor people. and those who are barely capable of making it from day to day or week to week. why don't we hear more about the consequences of those who are poor, who are way out of play, even more so than the middle class? >> well, my understanding is, from a briefing that i had on the phone, just maybe an hour ago from the white house, is that it's not just those tax cuts for people under $250,000. but it will include the education tax credit and the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. these are refundable tax credits
that affect mostly low-income people. so that will be on the table. but, you know, the republicans, the disdain that i have seen for poor people, from people who are struggling, like senior citizens on medicare and social security, for low-income people and the women, infant, and children program, we saw the republicans last week vote to spending cuts that would literally take food out of the mouths of hungry babies and in this country, you want to talk about crisis, fiscal crisis, et cetera, a crisis is that one out of five american children is hungry at some point during the year. that is just immoral. and they voted to even cut that. and so i agree with you. i think we have to talk about the consequences for real people. middle class, and as the president said tonight, those who aspire to the middle class. and that would include the unemployed right now, and we're going to extend unemployment
insurance benefits. >> yeah, that's critical. gop sources say that the sequester will not be part of the deal, meaning the cuts will go into effect. what kind of an impact do you think that will have? >> well, i think it won't have a long-term effect, because i think we'll get to that right away. and the reason i say that, is because the sequester also affects the defense budget, the military budget, the republicans aren't going to stand for that. and we're certainly not going to just end a sequester, just for the military budget. so i think that starting in the new year, we're going to a number of fixes that we have to do for the doctors, make sure that they don't have a dramatic decline in their payments from the government, and certainly, that we're not going to do the sequester. we cannot tolerate, ordinary people can't tolerate these kinds of cuts in programs. >> absolutely. congresswoman jan schakowsky, thank you so very much. >> thank you.
>> remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen and share your thoughts on twitter @edshow and on facebook. i want to know what you think. coming up, this congress is on track to be the worst congress ever. that's right. "the huffington post" amanda turco and robert reich will join me.
coming up, more on tonight's breaking news of the fiscal cliff with former labor secretary, robert reich, and amanda turco of "the huffington post." then, chicago reaches the tragic milestone of 500 homicides in 2012. reverend jesse jackson will join me to discuss curbing gun violence in our cities. we'll be right back.
so the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thinning. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town, for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. >> when the president has to quote yogi berra, you know it's tough. that was president obama lamenting the state of affairs in washington, d.c. indeed, today's congress is on track to go down as the least productive congress since recordkeeping began. the 112th congress will come to a merciful end in early january. it has passed 219 bills that have actually been signed into law by president obama, according to the "huffington post." many of them insignificant measures like naming post offices. speaker john boehner's congress
is about to take the prize for inaction. this is not a bipartisan problem. as stated by both liberal and conservative analysts, "we have been studying washington politics and congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional in our past writerings. we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the republican party." let's not forget that this was also the year that senator mitch mcconnell filibustered his own bill, an act that drew the utter consternation of senator dick durbin. >> so this may be a moment in senate history, when a senator made a proposal, and when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal. i think we've now reached a new spot in the history of the senate we've never seen before. i'm going to ask the parliamentary to really look into this. i don't think this has ever happened before. >> that's not the kind of history you're proud of making.
i'm joined by robert reich, former secretary of labor under president bill clinton. now professor of public policy at uc berkeley and author of "beyond outrage." i don't know how far beyond outrage you can get than this, mr. reich. can there be little doubt that this will go down as one of the most obstructive congresses ever, including what we're going through right now, which is more than ludicrous, is just ridiculous. >> one has to look very far into history to find a congress that is at least as unproductive, as sort of paralyzed as this congress. i would say, basically, back to the 1940s. harry truman had a congress that he accused as being a do-nothing congress. well, the 112th congress just ending is probably worse. >> and that's searching through history with a keen eye. let's not forget last year's debt ceiling debacle, which president obama has vowed never to repeat.
>> if congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, which, by the way, we have never done in our history, until we did it last year, i will not play that game. >> won't play that game. never done in history. will the president stick to that and not allow another debacle, a debacle, if we want to be british or american, of the debt ceiling vote to be tied to budget cuts like it was last time around? >> whether it's a debacle or a debacle. we'll find out very, very quickly. the president is standing his ground so far, he is saying that he is not going to compromise on what was essentially a very central issue in the campaign. that is, are we going to see bush tax cuts continue for people who are richer than $250,000 and, you know, the republicans in congress, as you
recall, last week, they said that they will not vote a tax increase, even on millionaires. house republicans have been among the worst in terms of this paralysis. i don't remember, for example, when you have a reauthorization of the violence against women act, i mean, thing that has had bipartisan support in previous years, you can't even get that through this congress. i mean, they had 30 votes in the house, to repeal obama care. these are republican votes, john boehner kind of presided, and, obviously, they were going nowhere. but you have republicans over and over again, simply holding symbolic votes to make a point, and then when it comes to real votes, they simply say, no. the tea partyers, who were elected in 2010, really have had their way. and the one distinction we see, coming out of that 2010 election
and the tea partyers, and what they did, is to have a congress that is absolutely at loggerheads and gridlock and is incapable of functioning. >> let me ask you something, professor reich. you know, a lot of us ignore common sense or what's right beneath our noses, so to speak, or like edgar alan poe's purloin letter, hidden in plain sight, what is the deal? why is it that republicans are so bitterly opposed to president obama? is it his race? is it his youth? is it his party? what is it that has aroused such deep and bitter suspicion and resistance to this man? >> well, i think it's some of all of the above. it's also that president obama came into office at a time when we desperately needed government, an active government. remember, the economy was going off a cliff. a real cliff. and not a symbolic fiscal cliff. i mean, but it was a real economic cliff, over which we had no control at all. he took the reins and prevented another great depression.
we had a very, very deep recession and we are still in the gravitational pull of that deep recession, but a lot of conservative republicans, many of whom had been elected in 2010, they looked at what president obama had done with regard to the stimulus package, and everything else, and they said, this is simply too much government. we hate government, we don't want government. and we were elected on a very ideological platform of shrinking the federal government. of kind of an anti-government obsession, of the sort that we haven't seen in this country in decades. >> all right. well, we're looking for the isaac newton to free us from that gravitational pull of these republican ideologues. robert reich, thank you so very much. and our sincere apologies to amanda turco of "the huffington post," who was unable to join us due to technical difficulties beyond our control. up next, america's murder capital. what makes this city so much more violent than los angeles and new york? we'll talk about the guns and the attitudes.
>> i can't take this! he didn't do nothing to nobody. >> my grandson belonged to me, not -- not whoever took it upon themselves to kill him. >> thanks for staying with us. chicago marked a grim milestone today. it's officially the murder capital of america, reporting 500 homicides this year. shootings are up 11%. compare that to los angeles. l.a. is four times bigger than chicago, but it's reporting almost half the number of homicides. new york city is also four times bigger than chicago, but the city just set an all-time record for the fewest murders in its history. shootings are down almost 9%. why is chicago so violent? its gun laws are similar to those of l.a. and new york, but police say illegal guns are flooding in inner city. mayor rahm emanuel blames illegal guns too. he also blames blight, poverty, and gaps in policing.
but the truth is, 80% of the homicides in chicago are black-on-black crimes. groups like cease-fire say we need to change the way young people talk to each other. >> why you keep looking at me crazy? if you come on this block again and look at me crazy, you know what i'm going to do you, man. a simple argument like that could turn deadly. in order to stop a homicide, you have to have the ability to intercept a whisper. >> joining me now, jesse jackson, the founder and president of the rainbow push coalition. reverend jackson, thank you to the show. >> thank you, sir. >> sir, you appeared on "the ed show" two years ago to talk about the violence in chicago. it's only gotten worse. what needs to change now to make certain that we have a different result next year than we had in making a grim history this year? >> chris, in great contrast, the newtown massacre, where our hearts poured out watching those babies who will never have santa claus, never have easter.
but i think newtown illuminated the darkness in chicago, here it's illegal to sell guns. they manufacture guns in the suburbs. so guns from the suburbs, drugs in mexico, and jobs out. that combination of jobs out and drugs and guns, is there's a warfare taking place. that's why i'm hoping at some point in time, we'll have the light on chicago that we have on newtown, so we can figure out the far more complex situation, dr. dyson. >> david culver, a georgetown law professor said, we've tolerated this intolerable situation because black and latino young men are largely the victims of this situation. and it's part of the landscape versus what happened in newtown. both of them are egregious, but why does one get accepted as the price of doing business in
america, and the other seen as an outrage that needs to change public policy? >> i'm not quite sure. on the one side, there's austin and lundale, on the south side, there's rosendale. these places from 55% of unemployment. a sense of hopelessness. i went to the cook county jail on christmas day morning. and about a thousand young men and women and asked, how many of you have been shot. about three quarters stood up. i asked them to engage with me in our organization, since they know where the guns are coming from, they know where the purchases are, to help us stop the gun flow, because they can only be in jail or they can only be in the graveyard. so we must use every thing available to us. but they have been trying very diligently, governor emanuel, very diligently. but we know, for example, where guns are manufactured. and we know the three gun shops that surround the city. one gun shop is counseled by 30% of all in chicago.
we cannot close that flood. if we know where guns are manufactured, killing american soldiers, if we know where they're being dispensed from, we could stop it. here we know where the manufacturing spot is, we know where the guns are sold, we don't have the ability the to protect ourselves from these egregious gun laws. >> reverend, a chicago reporter talked to self-described gangbangers about the gun violence. here's what those young men are saying about guns. >> there's no solution to violence. >> no solution? >> no solution. killing. killing is a solution. >> can you kill? if you had to? >> i never killed before, but if i had a gun in my possession, yeah. >> you could. would you? >> if i got to, yeah. >> have you shot anybody yet? >> nope. >> you afraid to shoot somebody? >> no. >> no. you're not afraid of getting shot? >> no. >> reverend, what's going on here? can we change their attitudes about violence, or are we going to suffer giving up an entire
generation? >> this is the least wrong of the latter. we know the international drug cartels coming across the border. drugs and we know about guns are manufactured, guns in, we know where the jobs are going. so this is a deadly proposition here. a cocktail, as it were. that's why i hope at some point in time, the president's presence should have, would serve to illuminate a bigger national -- because i tell you, dr. dyson, it's not just about gun laws, having a gun for your house or a gun for hunting. these are about semiautomatic weapons that could destroy planes. they have the capacity to bring down planes. i went to aurora, colorado, after the killing there, the massacre there. and these guns can not only shoot people in theaters and schools, they can bring down planes. this is a homeland security issue, not just a local police issue. >> all right. >> and i would submit to you that poverty, these are big factors in this deal. >> no doubt.
eloquent as usual, reverend jesse jackson, thank you so much, my friend. >> thank you, sir. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay tuned. >> that's my dummy. >> obama's your dummy? >> well, this is. he don't talk, he don't make no smart comments. >> a kentucky man puts a watermelon-cradling obama mannequin in his front yard. marcia dyson and marc morial on bigotry. .
and with that historic event came a whole wave of hate speech and racist stunts. social media provided a platform for the nation's unenlightened to air their grievances with the president's skin color. one blog tracked the origin of racist tweets, following the president's re-election. the majority of them coming from red states in the southeast. twitter saw another eruption of racist language when the president interrupted sunday night football to address victims' families in newtown, connecticut. and for those not as technologically savvy, danny halfly of kentucky proves there are more old-fashioned ways to show one's ignorance in 2012. halfly says there is nothing racist about this barack obama mannequin, holding a slice of watermelon. halfly put the display up around election day and doesn't plan on taking it down anytime soon. >> it's a mix of white collar suits with blue-collar clothes peeking out. >> i'd be a millionaire. >> and watermelon. >> i thought he might get hungry
standing out here. >> reporter: danny halfly has seen many a picture standing out here taking pictures with the president. >> that's my buddy. >> obama's your buddy? >> well, this is? he don't talk, he don't make no smart comments. >> "he don't talk, he don't make no smart comment." might as we say uppity. halfly claims he doesn't understand why the mannequin is considered racist. he also says it's his right to display the mannequin. >> the way i look at it, it's freedom of speech. >> freedom of speech, indeed. let's hear some more speech from social activist, reverend marcia dyson and marc morial, president and ceo of the national urban league. mr. morial, mayor, let me turn to you, sir. where are we heading as a country when we see this kind of conflagration along the front of american race? >> it's nothing new. i mean, let's look at the fact that perhaps social media and media attention has given more
visibility, if you will, and transparency to what you may have read on graffiti walls or heard in private conversations. that's number one. number two, there's been a reaction to the rise of president obama, an ugly reaction, resentful reactions. but let's understand, we just had an election, and the president got re-elected for the second time. which says that a majority of the american people are not swayed nor influenced by that sort of sick and sadistic thinking. what i prefer to focus on is not simply that, but the underlying disparities, the previous segment on violence, and the need for jobs for young men of color and people of all colors, in urban communities. which is, i think, the more appropriate thing for us to discuss when we talk about how to address that. he's got a right to be a damned fool. >> well, damned fool, he is, indeed. reverend marcia dyson, you were
a maven of social media. social media has provided wonderful outlets for people to articulate their views, but it's obviously showed to america the true colors of what some people think and bigots with megaphones, so to speak. so when the president interrupted sunday night football to speak in newtown, connecticut, twitter went crazy and interrupted with all kinds of racial slurs. how do we as a society confront this sort of behavior? >> well, you know, it's really kind of difficult to do that, michael, especially when you have leadership in congress, that's not only about its political party, but when you have southern states and southwestern states talking about they want to secede from the nation, there's a little racial tinge in that, i think as well. so when you don't have a leadership that can get along together, what do you expect from the general population? i think leadership is the key to that. and as far as the social media, it's no different than in 1990, in the city of chicago, where i come from. they actually still had in certain neighborhoods, the graffiti. so in whatever way they can
describe their intolerance to other people. >> mayor morial, what can leadership do, then. what do you expect leaders who are genuine on these issues to do? >> like the gentleman who had the effigy or the mannequin of president obama, and said, this is my freedom of speech. you can't take away someone's freedom of speech, but what you can do is kind of coolhand look, the way we have to communicate education, and appreciation, so you cannot reciprocate in kindness, people who know nothing about you, a lot of things is why you have conflict in other parts of the world. >> well, speaking of those disparities that the mayor spoke about, a lot of people, a lot of scholars and writers are talking about president obama in relationship to the black community.
support for him, on the one hand, and some critics and scholars have said, yeah, but he could do more. with a second term, do you expect the president to address those issues more directly? >> i'm expecting and optimistic that the president is going to address particularly the problem of the economic situation that many in the black and latino communities find themselves in. the recession hurt everybody. but it really, really damaged a lot of economic progress that african-americans and latinos had made. there has to be an intervention. there has to be an interruption, there's got to be a focus. one way, i think, is to focus on young people to provide job opportunities, public service, if necessary, job opportunities, for young people, for young adults. yes, education. that's a long-term solution. we need some immediate remedies, and i'm optimistic, i'm hopeful, and i can tell you, we're going
to be offering the president thoughts, recommendations, and advocacy. >> no doubt about that. the reverend marcia dyson, the honorable marc morial, thank you both for joining us here tonight. >> thanks so much. kentucky senator mitch mcconnell's connection on the fiscal cliff could cost 25,000 unemployed in his state. details ahead.
welcome back. we love hearing from our viewers on twitter and facebook page. many of you were heartened by the success of the los angeles gun buyback program we reported on yesterday. on twitter, michael said, "there needs to be more gun buyback programs nationwide. put food on your table, not guns in your home." sharon omarosa said, "this is the best news ever. i wish my city would do it. but i'm sure there is not a lot of money out there for it." and twitter user dangergirl called the gun buyback program "heartwarming. humanity learning curve in action," she said.
keep shares your thoughts with us on facebook and twitter using #edshow. coming up, as the fiscal cliff looms, 24,000 people in mitch mcconnell's home state could lose their unemployment benefits. john nichols has the details. stay tuned. [ cheeping ] [ male announcer ] you hear that? that's the sound of car insurance companies these days. here a cheap, there a cheap, everywhere a cheap... you get it. so, what if instead of just a cheap choice, you could make a smart choice? like, esurance for example. they were born online and built to save people money from the beginning. it's what they've always done. not just something they cheap about. that's insurance for the modern world. esurance. now backed by allstate. click or call.
welcome back to "the ed show." tonight in our survey, i asked you, in light of the president's remarks, will the fiscal cliff deal get done? 33% say yes, 67% say no. coming up, federal unemployment benefits are set to expire tomorrow unless congress acts. john nichols joins me to talk about the millions of americans that will be impacted, next.
this has been the toughest year, probably, in my entire life. remember, these are people. it's not just numbers on a piece of paper. we are actually human beings, suffering out here. >> how moving. for millions of out of work americans like karen deduct, the cliff has come early. if congress doesn't act to extend the emergency unemployment compensation program, their benefits will stop tomorrow. get that, underscore it. tomorrow. nearly a million more will be unable to collect any sort of federal benefits in the first quarter of 2013. these are the people that republicans have used as pawns in the fiscal cliff debate. earlier this week, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell demanded spending cuts to offset
the estimated. $30 billion cost of extending the federal unemployment insurance program for another year. mcconnell was elected to serve the people of kentucky. so how do mcconnell and junior senator rand paul justify letting federal unemployment benefits expire for 24,000 people in their state? how can senator marco rubio allow nearly 119,000 unemployed floridians to be cut off? senators john mccain and jon kyl should be fighting for the 28,000 people who would be affected in arizona. it's not clear if they will. and the list goes on and on. unemployment benefits are vital to the economic security of millions of americans, and the continued recovery of the u.s. economy as a whole. this should not be a bipartisan issue. let's bring in john nichols, washington correspondent for "the nation" magazine. brother nichols, who will be most affected if no deal is reached. not the very reach who can afford to deal with in a very
serious fashion. not even the upper middle class. but tell us about those clinging to the bottom of the ladder? >> well, those clinging to the bottom of the ladder are not the most impoverished people in america. they tend to be folks who we know, our sisters, our brothers, our cousins. somebody down the street, who got laid off at the start of this deep, deep recession. and as things started to get better, maybe they lived in a part of america, particularly a rule area, or an older industrialized city, where the economy has just not come back as rapidly as it is in some, in better-off parts of the country. this is a circumstance that people are in largely because of their region, not because of laziness, certainly. and also, not because of race or age or all the other factors. those factors are always there, and they're always important.
but there are some really targeted regional sufferings that are taking place. >> let's be honest here. you mentioned race, gender, we can talk about class. those are the factors that have not motivated many americans to be as empathetic as they might otherwise be. but you would think that the notion that somebody they knew, some uncles, some cousins, some person in your family who's out of work through no fault or his or her own would at least garner the everyone think of these folk in congress. why hasn't it worked? >> i think they've written these folks off. and you've written about this, and you know well, that the politics of america is defined increasingly not by the whole of the country, but by what political players think of as the voting class. who do they think will be at the polls, who do they think will punish them? unfortunately, an awful lot of folks who follow into this category, the long-term unemployed, they may vote, but they tend to vote according to patterns that a john mccain or a mitch mcconnell may not care about so much. and the tragedy of this, this is
the real tragedy, dr. dyson, these benefits don't cost us, they benefit us, the whole of the country. for every dollar that goes to long-term unemployment benefits, because these people put it right back in the economy, it creates $1.10 in economic activity. so this is one of the best ways to continue to improve the economy. cutting these benefits will do severe damage to rural counties in mitch mcconnell's home state, to counties in john boehner's home district in ohio, which is a terribly high and unfortunately high child poverty rate. this is one of those issues where everybody should come together. this shouldn't have a political hue to it. also, i think we do talk a lot about the economics, we talk about the money. there's a moral component to this. a civil society in a functional, western, well-developed economy should be able to take care of thop